Jon Huntsman Sr., the wealthy philanthropist and father of former 2012 Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr., sounds like he won’t be giving money to Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) re-election campaign.
Lee has already started courting donors to help in his preparations to try and stave off a possible primary challenge in 2016 — especially if it’s a strong one from the establishment wing of the Republican Party. Don’t expect Huntsman to help him.
“All I can say is Mike Lee is an embarrassment to the state of Utah,” Huntsman said, according to Politico, in a story on Lee’s re-election prospects more broadly.
Lee was a central player in last year’s fight led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to defund Obamacare that resulted in a government shutdown. More recently Lee joined Cruz in holding up another government funding bill in an effort to fight President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Huntsman called Lee “an extremist” for his involvement in the shutdown fight which the philanthropist said sucked millions in federal dollars from his cancer research institute and also affected national parks.
“He’s been a tremendous embarrassment to our family, to our state, to our country, to have him as a U.S. senator,” Huntsman said.
“He’s tried to come in and see me several times,” Huntsman said. “I have no interest whatsoever in chatting with him.”
Asked if he had a response, Lee just said “I don’t.”